My boyfriend and I are both in our late 30s and HIV negative. I use a diaphragm for birth control. I have used a diaphragm or condoms for over 20 years. I have tried two different types of birth control pills, and my body can't tolerate them. Contraceptive suppositories and foams give me vaginitis. I will not get an IUD or Norplant or any other invasive apparatus. My choices are barrier methods: the 'phragm or male or female condoms. I have adopted a positive attitude and have done my best to incorporate installing/ applying these into sexual activity. All of my previous partners have been OK with this.
Here's the problem. My present boyfriend dislikes these barrier methods intensely. He refuses to wear condoms--he says they're painful. He finds the female condom aesthetically disgusting. He claims he can feel my diaphragm and it hurts him. He says the nonoxynol-9 in the jelly burns his urethra. He is generally pissed off and turned off by the "interruption" of his "style" of lovemaking when we have to stop for diaphragm insertion. He doesn't want me to put in the 'phragm in advance because he won't go down on me when there's spermicidal jelly there.
He bitches about the diaphragm nearly every time we get intimate. He says all his previous lovers have been on the pill and doesn't understand why I'm not. He grimaces and pulls away when I put the 'phragm in. Sometimes he decides he doesn't want to screw after all. We have discussed this ad nauseam and I am at my wit's end. I feel like he's withholding sex to punish me; he says that he's not rejecting me, he's rejecting the diaphragm. When we have sex, it's fantastic. But honestly, what this boils down to from my female perspective is that this man simply doesn't want to deal with contraception. I have reached the saturation point for his bitching and have told him so. I am ready to walk away from this relationship over this issue. --Frisbee of Love
There's a relatively simple solution to the impasse you've reached with this idiot boyfriend of yours: If he hates barrier methods so much, he should get himself a fucking vasectomy. Birth control for breeders, like HIV control for gay men, is the responsibility of both partners. It is not up to the woman to "make" birth control happen any more than it is up to the bottom in gay sex to "make" condoms happen. It is wildly inconsiderate of your boyfriend, to say nothing of sexist as all get out, to expect you to take birth control pills, which make you ill, because latex "interrupts" his lovemaking style!
While some folks are sensitive to nonoxynol-9, I suspect your boyfriend is being a weasel and lying about it--as he is about condoms "hurting" and being able to "feel" your diaphragm (have to admit I agree with him about female condoms: yuck). So what to do? Ask the idiot this question: What's going to interrupt his lovemaking style more--getting dumped for being an inconsiderate, selfish, sexist prick, or your diaphragm? You should also ask yourself why you're dating this asshole. You say you're ready to walk away, and I encourage you to do just that. He's being such a prick about making love to you, I can't imagine he'll be any nicer when it comes to making a life with you. Move on.
My husband of one year is addicted to porn on the Internet. I got very upset about this one night and told him that I feel hurt and insecure about his passion, and he told me he wouldn't do it anymore. However, I see that he is still surfing these porn sections every day when I'm not home. I want him to be able to have his freedom but I don't know how to deal with this for myself. I feel like I'm being cheated on, especially as he doesn't seem to like to make love to me very often--usually about once a week at my request. --Love Me
If you've only been married a year and your sex life is already in the toilet, that's a very bad sign. While it's tempting to blame the Internet for your husband's lack of interest--chalking it up to cyberinfidelity--this ain't about what's on the Internet, it's about what's going on in your marriage. He's burying himself in porn to avoid dealing with whatever he's feeling, or not feeling, about you. Thirty years ago he'd be sitting in peep shows and dirty-movie theaters; at least with the Internet he's at home, where the only person who can offer him a blow job is you. Not that the Internet isn't perhaps exacerbating your problem. Hunting porn on the Internet combines the best of art photography (pictures of people's private parts) with the excitement of video games (hunt, click, hunt, click, click, dirty pictures--score!). Playing Porn Hunt can be an all-consuming passion at first, like playing Ms. Pac-Man was for me during the second Reagan Administration. But Porn Hunt, like Ms. Pac-Man, gets old. You master the game, get bored, and move on (you've mastered every level of Pac-Man, or you've seen every picture on the Internet ten times). Your husband's obsession with Internet porn sites will pass.
Talk to him about why you aren't fucking anymore--that's the problem, right? If he were snooping around porn sites and drilling you silly at night, you wouldn't be writing me. If he wants out of this marriage, give him out--better now than 25 miserable, neglected years from now. But if he doesn't, tell him he can't ignore you and play Porn Hunt all day long. It's not that he shouldn't look at porn, it's just that under the circumstances Porn Hunt is adding insult to injury. Assure him that you're fine with him consuming porn--and if you aren't fine, get fine (you did marry a man, after all)--but it hurts to have him pouring over virtual pussy all day when your actual pussy is clamoring for his attention. Good luck.
Hey, while we're on the subject: We're raising a generation of wimps! Mush-brained softies! Kids today only have to click a few buttons to get their porn, not go out there and shoplift porn like I did, and my father did before me, and his father before him. These rotten kids today don't even have to leave their rooms! Porn falls right into their laps--it's disgusting! Wake up, American parents! Your children are going to be competing in a global marketplace--they're going to need the kind of cutthroat survival skills that only shoplifting porn can give them! Do you think kids in Mexico and Canada are getting their porn off the Internet? NO! They don't even know what the Internet is up in Canada! They're stealing porn, getting smart and wily, and they're going to take your kids' jobs one day! So, make your kid earn his Internet porn: one hour on the computer for each piece of shoplifted porn he brings home, or no go. He'll hate you now, but he'll thank you when he's employed in the future.
Send questions to Savage Love, Chicago Reader, 11 E. Illinois, Chicago 60611.